House With a Heart in Gaithersburg, Maryland, might just be the greatest place on Earth. It started as a home like any other, but was transformed into a senior pet sanctuary. The organization is dedicated to rescuing aging pets that "have been neglected or abused by their families," according to Woman's Day. House With a Heart volunteers provide these animals, which are mostly dogs, with a lot of love and care. They try to open their doors to as many of these vulnerable pets as possible.
House With a Heart was founded by Sher Polvinale and her husband Joe 11 years ago. "I started thinking about all the dogs and cats we had placed over the years and how we had agonized over finding just the right home," Sher told The Huffington Post of her decision to open her home to all these pets. "I just felt terrible thinking about a pet who loved and trusted its person being given up because it was old, and not so convenient anymore."
The couple shared a passion for rescuing animals and noticed that so many pets ended up being neglected or abandoned due to their old age. Instead of rescuing and placing animals in loving homes, Sher and Joe decided to turn their own house into a retirement home of sorts for these aging animals. House With a Heart welcomes pets from ages 12 and up to live inside the four-bedroom retirement home. The pets coming from shelters or families and about 30 animals live in Sher's home until they pass away.
"We've lost 80 so far and I remember them all." Sher told PEOPLE about her beloved animals. "It's not easy to say goodbye, but we take comfort in knowing we've given them a wonderful end-of-life experience. Not a single animal leaves our care without knowing they were loved."